Doncaster MP compares city to “ghost town” following unveiling of cycle routes

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A Doncaster MP claimed that transport planning decisions have turned the city into a “ghost town” in Parliament this week.

On Thursday (14 September), Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher spoke in Parliament to criticise the increase of running and cycling lanes, known as active travel routes, in Doncaster city centre.

It comes after Doncaster Council and the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) unveiled new active travel routes in the city centre earlier this week.

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The £1.6 million project provided over 800 metres of cycle lanes, linking South Parade with areas such as Bennetthorpe and Hall Gate.

Nick Fletcher pedestrian cycle complaint Nick Fletcher pedestrian cycle complaint
Nick Fletcher pedestrian cycle complaint

Speaking during Parliament proceedings, Nick Fletcher MP criticised the decision:

“Active travel is an important policy for this government. Cycle paths are one part of that programme. However, when cycle paths are designed poorly, as is the case in Doncaster, they can be detrimental to the town and to the city.

“Can we have a debate on disastrous town planning and what can be done to reverse this trend before cities like Doncaster become ghost towns?”

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Mr Fletcher has been consistently critical of urban planning methods such as active travel routes.

Sharing his speech on Twitter, he added:

“I am truly concerned about the effect badly planned and designed cycle paths are having on our town/city centre in Doncaster.

“Cycle paths, pedestrianisation and poor bus planning are slowly choking our wonderful city centre. Only a Labour council would mess up what should be a great addition to the way our community enjoys getting about for work or pleasure.”

Earlier this year, Mr Fletcher claimed that councils such as Sheffield are declaring “war on the car” through the implementation of low emission zones.

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His criticisms were distributed widely online after he claimed “the international concept of 15-minute cities” was “taking away our personal freedom”.

15-minute cities are a planning concept aimed at making major cities entirely accessible through active travel or public transport.

In recent months, the concept has received fringe backlash online, with the circulation of a conspiracy theory website claiming that councils in Oxford would “lock residents in one of six zones”.

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